Imagine running through the woods. You jump over logs, duck under low branches, and then pick up speed when the trees open up into a green field. Ahead of you runs your Beagle. Nose to the ground, tail held high. He is tracking a rabbit, and he is hot on its scent. You lose sight of him in the tall grass, and for a moment you are unsure of where he has gone--until you hear the unmistakable sound of a howl. Your Beagle has found the rabbit and he is excitedly telling everyone within earshot.
Your Beagle puppy was born with the ability to howl. Many Beagles howl when they are excited. Your Beagle might be a frequent howler, or a bit more conservative with his voice. Either way howling can be fun to put on cue as a trick.
In addition to being a fun trick, howling can also be useful.. If you need to teach your dog an alert signal that can be heard from far away, howling would be a great signal to teach. Perhaps your Beagle is a hunting dog and does not alert with a howl on his own. By teaching him how to howl on command, you can train him to howl when he finds what he is tracking. Perhaps you are doing Search and Rescue work and your dog is learning how to track. Howling when he locates a missing person can help you get to him quickly.
How long this will take to train will depend a lot on how often your dog howls in general. If your dog is very vocal and howls a lot on his own, then the training will probably go faster. If your dog is very quiet and you have to work hard to even get him to make noise, then expect the training to take longer. In general, expect this command to take between four and eight weeks to train.
If your dog is very quiet and rarely howls at anything without prompting, then do not choose the 'Capture' method. Your dog will learn much faster using either the 'Siren' method or the 'Music' method. However, if your dog tends to howl frequently, then the 'Capture' method might be the easiest method for you to use. If you do use the 'Capture' method then do be aware that that method can increase general howling in your puppy. This is because with that method you will be rewarding your puppy for howling at things that he encounters in his everyday life.
If your puppy is not a frequent howler, then you may have to try many different types of sounds before you find one that your puppy will howl in response to. In general, noises that are high pitched, irritating, off key, and a bit loud are the most likely to get a response out of him. If music and sirens fail to elicit a response from him, then try a recording of another dog's howling. If he responds to that, then use that sound in place of the music or siren noise in your chosen method, and then simply follow the instructions for one of those methods using a dog howl recording instead.
To get started you will need lots of small, tasty treats. If you are using the 'Capture' method then you will also need a small Ziploc bag or treat pouch to place the treats into. If you are using the 'Siren' or 'Music' method, you will also need a portable electronic device to play the sounds on. A smartphone or a tablet with an internet connection will work for this. For the 'Siren' method, you will also need a recording of a siren that your dog will howl in response to and for the 'Music' method you will need a recording of music or singing that your dog will howl in response to. Such recordings can be found on online if you don't already have them in your collection. For all of the methods, you will need to sound excited and enthusiastic when you give the "Howl" command, and you will need good timing, in order to praise and reward your puppy while he is howling.